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  1. As this virus is out doing its worst in the world and we have evil sunni salafi islamic terrorists running around harming our people and other innocents. I think its time we did some reading and reflection on what sikhi and sikh history says about testing and trying times. Post any relevant gurbani scriptures or sikh ithihaas stories that may inspire others Heres mine: ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਨਿਤਾਣਿਆ ਕਾ ਤਾਣੁ ॥ साहिबु निताणिआ का ताणु ॥ Sāhib niṯāṇi▫ā kā ṯāṇ. Our Lord and Master is the Power of the powerless. ਆਇ ਨ ਜਾਈ ਥਿਰੁ ਸਦਾ ਗੁਰ ਸਬਦੀ ਸਚੁ ਜਾਣੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ आइ न जाई थिरु सदा गुर सबदी सचु जाणु ॥१॥ रहाउ ॥ Ā▫e na jā▫ī thir saḏā gur sabḏī sacẖ jāṇ. ||1|| rahā▫o. He does not come or go; He is Eternal and Permanent. Through the Word of the Guru's Shabad, He is known as True. ||1||Pause|| ਜੇ ਕੋ ਹੋਵੈ ਦੁਬਲਾ ਨੰਗ ਭੁਖ ਕੀ ਪੀਰ ॥ जे को होवै दुबला नंग भुख की पीर ॥ Je ko hovai ḏublā nang bẖukẖ kī pīr. If you are weakened by the pains of hunger and poverty, ਦਮੜਾ ਪਲੈ ਨਾ ਪਵੈ ਨਾ ਕੋ ਦੇਵੈ ਧੀਰ ॥ दमड़ा पलै ना पवै ना को देवै धीर ॥ Ḏamṛā palai nā pavai nā ko ḏevai ḏẖīr. with no money in your pockets, and no one will give you any comfort, ਸੁਆਰਥੁ ਸੁਆਉ ਨ ਕੋ ਕਰੇ ਨਾ ਕਿਛੁ ਹੋਵੈ ਕਾਜੁ ॥ सुआरथु सुआउ न को करे ना किछु होवै काजु ॥ Su▫ārath su▫ā▫o na ko kare nā kicẖẖ hovai kāj. and no one will satisfy your hopes and desires, and none of your works is accomplished - ਚਿਤਿ ਆਵੈ ਓਸੁ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਤਾ ਨਿਹਚਲੁ ਹੋਵੈ ਰਾਜੁ ॥੨॥ चिति आवै ओसु पारब्रहमु ता निहचलु होवै राजु ॥२॥ Cẖiṯ āvai os pārbarahm ṯā nihcẖal hovai rāj. ||2|| if you then come to remember the Supreme Lord God, you shall obtain the eternal kingdom. ||2|| ਜਾ ਕਉ ਚਿੰਤਾ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਦੇਹੀ ਵਿਆਪੈ ਰੋਗੁ ॥ जा कउ चिंता बहुतु बहुतु देही विआपै रोगु ॥ Jā ka▫o cẖinṯā bahuṯ bahuṯ ḏehī vi▫āpai rog. When you are plagued by great and excessive anxiety, and diseases of the body; ਗ੍ਰਿਸਤਿ ਕੁਟੰਬਿ ਪਲੇਟਿਆ ਕਦੇ ਹਰਖੁ ਕਦੇ ਸੋਗੁ ॥ ग्रिसति कुट्मबि पलेटिआ कदे हरखु कदे सोगु ॥ Garisaṯ kutamb paleti▫ā kaḏe harakẖ kaḏe sog. when you are wrapped up in the attachments of household and family, sometimes feeling joy, and then other times sorrow; ਗਉਣੁ ਕਰੇ ਚਹੁ ਕੁੰਟ ਕਾ ਘੜੀ ਨ ਬੈਸਣੁ ਸੋਇ ॥ गउणु करे चहु कुंट का घड़ी न बैसणु सोइ ॥ Ga▫oṇ kare cẖahu kunt kā gẖaṛī na baisaṇ so▫e. when you are wandering around in all four directions, and you cannot sit or sleep even for a moment - ਚਿਤਿ ਆਵੈ ਓਸੁ ਪਾਰਬ੍ਰਹਮੁ ਤਨੁ ਮਨੁ ਸੀਤਲੁ ਹੋਇ ॥੩॥ चिति आवै ओसु पारब्रहमु तनु मनु सीतलु होइ ॥३॥ Cẖiṯ āvai os pārbarahm ṯan man sīṯal ho▫e. ||3|| if you come to remember the Supreme Lord God, then your body and mind shall be cooled and soothed. ||3|| - Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji ang 70 ================================================= The Great Battle of Balakot Between Wahaabi Salafi Jihadi's and Sikh Imperial Army - Khalsa Fauj The destruction of the foremost <Edited> Jihad. The battle of Balakot marks an extremely important revolution in the Sikh affairs of the late 1700’s. Inspired by extremism and an answer to the decadent policies of the virtually extinct mughal empire, the battle was the first jihad launched via the Wahaabi ideology. It aimed to usher Punjab into an Islamic past which would rival the golden age of the mughal state. Lead by a fanatical individual it aimed to eradicate the Sikh empire, expand the new state’s border to connect with British India and ultimately birth an extensively powerful Islamic state. Plans which were paid put by the Khalsa forces. The battle was the brainchild of Syed Ahmed, a deeply religious Islamic individual who has been awarded the honor of being the first indigenous Jihadi of the Indian sub-continent. He was born in Rai Breli in 1786 A.D., a time when the mughal state’s funeral bells were pealing with ever greater pitch. The Maratha confederacy had turned on their Mughal masters and had succeeded in establishing an independent domain of sorts, despite being severely mauled by the ferocious Afghanis. The Sikhs had succeeded in liberating major portions of Punjab and planting the seeds of a powerful and Alexandrian empire, whilst a major portion of the sub-continent was divided among various warlords, generals and princes. Maharajah Ranjit Singh. Syed Ahmed easily garnered the factor that attacking the British, who were a rising power, would earn him no territorial merit. It would only invoke the latter’s wrath upon him and crush his campaign. The Marathas despite being severely weakened by their engagements with the Afghanis, Sikhs and the British still presented a murderous front to any potential invader. This only left the Sikh empire, an isolated but extensively impregnable domain ruled over by Maharajah Ranjit Singh. An awe-inspiring Napoleonic figure in his own right. Ahmed based his assumptions on the Afghani intolerance of the Sikh infidels. He unwittingly assumed that the Afghani polity would aide him in crushing the infidel and liberating what he saw as being an oppressed populace. With these potential factors as his basis, Ahmed left his family and with total faith in Allah traversed towards Peshawar. His journey was arduous and extensively bone breaking. He took a route via Sindh, Quetta, Qandhar and Kabul, and arrived heavily exhausted in Peshawar where he outlined his plan to the various regional warlords and warrior populace. An extensive number of these individuals had prior to Ahmed’s arrival, crossed steel with the Khalsa forces and were heavily disillusioned by his ineptness and heavy reliance on fate amalgamated with luck. After depicting their ridicule of his planned campaign they left him, yet despite this failure, on Ahmed’s part, he still managed to raise a detachment of Mujhaideen warriors who being hot-blooded and head strong readily agreed to attack Sikh domains. Led by Ahmed they succeeded in attacking a few Sikh territories but were mostly beaten back, which subsequently lowered their morale and provoked no reaction from the Khalsa border forces. Ahmed on seeing this and after conferencing with his accomplices, including Shah Ismail the grandson of Shah Waliulah of Delhi, decided on a new course of action. He adopted a nomadic agenda and continually traveled from one province frontier to it’s neighbor until ultimately he set foot in Balakot in 1831 A.D. Foregoing all militaristic and rational notions, Ahmed’s strategy was to engage the Sikh in the mountains of Balakot, annihilate them and conquer neighboring Kashmir; another extended domain of Ranjit Singh’s regional fiefdom. “I am in the mountains of Pakhli (name of the area). The people here have welcomed us with warmth and hospitality and have given us a place to stay. They have also promised to support us in the jihad. For the time being, I am camped in the town of Balakot, which is located in the (river) Kunhar pass. The army of the infidels [kuffars] is camped not too far from us. Since Balakot is located at a secure place (surrounded by hills and bounded by the river), God willing, the infidels will not be able to reach us. Of course, we may choose to advance and enter into a battle at our own initiative. And this we intend to do in the next two or three days. With the help of God, we will be victorious. If we win this battle, and, God willing, we will, then we will occupy all the land alongside the Jehlum River including the Kingdom of Kashmir. Please pray, day and night, for our victory.” -Syed Ahmad’s letter to an accomplice. Hari Singh Nalwa, the lion-shredder, was the viceroy and commander-in-chief of the Punjab territories encircling Balakot. An intelligent and fearsome general Hari Singh commanded his main captain Sher Singh to encircle Balakot and move a battalion of the Khalsa forces to Muzaffarabad. A few companies also surrounded Mitti Kot, the mountainous terrain encircling Ahmed’s forces. Ahmed after surveying the battlefield had it flooded to encumber the attacking Khalsa forces. Headlong he fell into the elaborate trap planned by his foes, the Khalsa nerve-center had easily maneuvered it’s foe into the very position the latter had wanted to encumber the Khalsa in. On the days catalyzing in commencement of the battle a mujhaideen foolishly charged the Khalsa companies keeping him under surveillance. He became encumbered by the very mud which Ahmed had planned to annihilate the Khalsa opposition in. Khalsa snipers soon finished him off via their bullets. Realizing that his elaborate trap had been exposed, with the crack of dawn Ahmed ordered a headlong charge into the Khalsa forces. Discarding all caution the mujhaideen vainly charged the joyous Khalsa who readily clashed with it. Amongst cries of Allah, and Waheguru a bloody slaughter commenced in which the mujhaideen were rapidly dispatched to their resting regions. It is believed that 1300 mujhaideen blindly lost their lives that fateful day, with the Khalsa receiving only a few casualties. The first indigenous sub-continental jihad met it’s demise in a bloody fashion.
  2. I have full faith in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji as a Guru because Guru Gobind Singh Ji gave “Gaddi” to Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. But, this belief is based upon the “Saakhi’s” stories, I heard from preachers and modern historians. They say Guru ji gave gaddi at Nanded (Hazur Sahib) in 1708. The point is where is ir written? In which authentic contemporary or old histoey books? Today by chance I came across the Punjabi and English Translation of “Gur Sobha” book by Senapati, a contemporary poet & historian in the court of Guru Gobind Singh Ji which suggests otherwise. I suggest everybody to read this book in Punjabi and English with translation which ever is convenient to you. Please read these pages particularly because they are eye opener. Especially Page no. 320, 21,22, 23. Here is the link for you to read and download book https://www.sikhinstitute.org/sri_gursobha.pdf On these pages it is very clear that Guru Ji did not give “Gaddi” to anyone; either to Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji or Khalsa panth. I think we all should strive hard to know the truth about succession story from old history books like Gur Partap Suraj, Gur Bilas etc. and not believe in concocted stories by our preachers and so called modern historians.
  3. Guest

    Janam Sakhi online?

    Hi does anyone know where i can get Janam Sakhi online as pdf? there was a university in Panjab that had an online pdf version yeas ago, but I cannot find it anymore.
  4. Guest

    Sikh History

    There is alot of controversy surrounding the amount of evidence we have for our history such as the encounters between our Gurus and the Mughals. Do we have any proof of these encounters such as the Gurus being tortured by the Mughals upon Aurangzebs request. Obviously as a Sikh i believe it but the claims that the history may have been altered along the way due to over exaggeration may be valid too if there is a lack of evidence.
  5. Kirtan Nirmolak Hira By the grace of almighty, Our Kirtani Jatha is blessed for recital of Gurbani kirtan. These blessings have been proved during our recitals in various samagams, kirtan darbars & Gurudwaras. With the blessing of God, our recitals have been greatly appreciated by audience (Sangat). We are very thankful to God for giving us this precious gift. Saadh Sangat ji asees dena ji. Sada Ragi jatha esi tarah kirtan di sewa karda rahe ji . https://www.amritbani.info
  6. Vjkk vjkf jio, Posting after many ,many years (I think)! Just a quick one, would be nice to have a list of interesting documentaries/films (in English) on Sikh History: 1) The Stolen Maharajha - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ho_V8xbD90s Any more, post links and I will try to keep updating the list above... Cheerio
  7. Wjkk Wjkf How the panj takhts were created and which Guru Sahiban gave them the name of panj takhts? Wjkk Wjkf
  8. Source: http://sikhsiyasat.net/2015/05/08/non-sikh-organizations-are-attempting-to-rewrite-sikh-history-in-california-doe-books-says-the-sikh-coalition/ Non-Sikh organizations are attempting to rewrite Sikh history in California DoE (Department of Education) books: says Sikh Coalition
  9. I recently researched some facets of Sikh history and here is what I have concluded. Please feel free to comment and criticize me. For the full article please see: http://tisarpanth.blogspot.co.nz/2014/09/dichotomy-and-de-evolution.html?view=magazine. I have also listed my sources, if in doubt please feel free to pursue them and get back to me. 'History is written by the Victors.' -Sir Winston Churchill. (1) History is never static but perpetually subject to fluctuation. Maybe then, what we call the past is nothing more than an adjective to catalog the notion of the commencement of an ideal or perception subject to later rereading. If the latter is taken to be true, then an imperative exists for a necessary re-defining of history (and it's trailblazers) every so often. Where would this leave us? An individual who was ratified as a hero five decades ago, may now become a genocidal villain (we have already witnessed this in the life of Prophet Muhammad) whereas a genocidal villain, of yesteryear, may soon be vindicated as a modern hero. Then again maybe there are some characters who will always inspire dichotomy. It might serve us well to study both Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan, if not for a crash course in human rights violation ('the how to do it and escape') than for their military and political stratagems. Below is an abstract of pivotal figures in Sikh history who have undergone a similar evolution for political, and ethno-social means. Their past has been circumspect to fluctuation and here we attempt to dissect the truth and if possible elucidate why some were forgotten in light of others who historically triumphed. Rama and Ravana- Rama and Ravana are not exclusive to Sikh historicity, nor do Sikhs subscribe to their pantheons or religious observances. They however reflect the primeval Good Versus Evil (or more bluntly us and them) psyche over which many cultures/religious parcels construct their own foundations-Sikhs alike. The Ramayana, despite it's prevalence, cannot be accepted as being an authentic account in light of it's fantastic claims. Written in the immediate aftermath of the fall of the sub-continent's first great empire (2), the ode of Rama and Ravana can easily be interpreted as being an attempt to accept political loss, and the ascension of a new empire and a new way of life. Preliminary texts of theRamayana (the tale of Rama) often construes Rama to be lustful ('the son of Dasratha is indeed lustful' (3) ) forgetful of his own divinity ('the Gods reminded him...' (4)) and often imperfect in conduct. Ravana's only failing is his hubris. If perceived, in light of history and historicity, Rama can be delineated as being an amalgamation of the various conflicting powers attempting to succeed the fragmented Mauryan's. (5) Ravana then is a Mauryan; an embodiment of the past empire and it's failures. The latter perception pans out especially since it is believed that the Ramayan's birth spanned from 750 BCE-200 CE. It's contents are replete with the motif of Kshatiryas (warriors in exile) thus reflecting an internecine conflict of sorts between Kshatiryas and the higher Brahmins. Was Ravana truly the rapist which the Ramayana inaugurates him to be? Or was he a monarch beset on all sides by fragmentation and factionalism who ultimately confronted hopes of a foreign progress via his farsightedness? History is silent on this matter, yet several Indian communities still venerate him as a noble emperor. (6) This dichotomy indicates that maybe the truth is more subtle. Ravana, or his real life counterpart, might as well have been an indigenous ruler confronted by Vedic (borrowed from the Ramayana) hordes which threatened to engulf his empire. Whatever the religiosity orbiting Ramayana it should serve as a lesson for ruler, scholar and layman alike. It is not the tale of Rama as commonly promulgated, but the tragedy of Ravana and through him revolution and utopia. Orwellian in approach, theRamayana confronts a post-revolution empire attempting to construct an utopia but teetering on the brink of collapse itself. Ultimately with the demise of it's monarch, history is re-written and the latter banished to infamy. From fame to infamy and back. The curious case of Banda Singh Bahadur and Binod Singh- Sir John Malcolm in his Sketch of the Sikhs observes: 'though the Sikhs, from being animated by a similar feeling, and encouraged by his first successes, followed Banda to the field, they do not revere his memory; and he is termed, by some of their authors, a heretic ; who, intoxicated with victory, endeavoured to change the religious institutions and laws of Guru G6vind, many of whose most devoted followers this fierce chief put to death...' (7) Banda Singh Bahadur is often officiated as being the primary Sikh ruler. To him we will apply the template which we birthed in our previous discussion regarding the Ramayana. Important points to acknowledge are: *The genesis of a mythos. * The marginalizing of any opposing history or historic figure. *The politics behind such actions. In 1708 A.D. Guru Gobind Singh Ji dispatched both a newly converted Banda, and the chief custodian of the Akal-Takhat, Akali-Nihung Binod Singh to subdue the Mughals in Punjab, wreck mass havoc and if plausible establish territorial supremacy for the Khalsa. Up till the Khalsa's sudden surrender of the Punjab (8), relations between Banda and Binod Singh were icily cordial if not fully warm. It was in the aftermath of Banda's declaration of a pseudo-Guruship that the real conflict commenced. (9) Incensed by certain 'reforms' propagated by the now vain Banda, Binod Singh and a mass body of the Khalsa parted from him under the aegis of Mata Sundar Kaur Ji and commenced harassing Mughal and 'Bandai' (Banda's own apostles) alike. (10) Curiously however by the dawn of the Sikh Empire, under Ranjit Singh, Banda's image had undergone a mass variation. No more was he a traitor, but an embodiment of Khalsa sovereignty and the latter's prolonged bloody history. Binod Singh meanwhile was marginalized as being nothing more than a minor inconvenience. (11) The latter situation is an obfuscating one, especially in light of the fact that a Nihung under Ranjit Singh-Ratan Singh Bhangu, author of the Sri Gur Panth Prakash- ardently criticizes Banda in his biography of the Khalsa nation. Ironically in lieu of any substantial academic vindication on the propagation of a 'Banda like no other' myth, during this era, we can somewhat amateurishly conclude then that this rebirth of Banda was probably politically oriented. Banda Singh's figure however prophetically boomed during the post-Singh-Sabha colonial era. The ascension of a radical Hindu movement, oriented towards establishing sole Hindu supremacy sub-continent wide, lead to a parallel Sikh offshoot which attempted to battle it and pursue ethnonationalism simultaneously. Banda became the bone of contention between both parties. Several prominent Hindu scholars attempted to cast him as a Hindu assisting his 'weakened Sikh brothers;' whereas Sikh academicians fought back with historic proof establishing Banda to be autonomous of Hinduism. Criticism of Banda during this time was heavily ignored and even vilified by a 'colonialised' Sikh academia which desired to circumvent his imperfectness altogether. The result? The image of a perfect 'Banda like no other' became ossified in Sikh thought and any criticism was (and is) 'academically refuted' or dismissed as being nothing more than a 'political, social or even religious conspiracy.' (12) Let us now summarize all of the above via the criterion which we mentioned in this sub-section's beginning. *The genesis of the mythos: 'A Banda like no other,' commenced under Ranjit Singh and was later ossified by colonial and post-colonial Sikh and non-Sikh scholars. *The marginalizing of any opposing history or historic figure: Even today Binod Singh is asserted to have betrayed Banda Singh in pursuit of parochial goals. Other then in Nihung Dals, no mention is made of him and many authors have discarded him altogether from their works. Historians such as Dr. Ganda Singh, despite acknowledging the fluidity of their field, continually (and often myopically) asserted any criticism of Banda to be a produce of an overbearing and radical mentality. Binod Singh meanwhile was vilified as the real traitor who betrayed the 'Sikh cause.' *The politics behind such actions: Ethnonationalism, and maybe a discomfort at the first Sikh sovereign's temporary transgressions. Rereading Jassa Singhs' Alhuwalia and Ramgarhia. Realpolitik versus theocracy- Modern-era, and Jassa Singh Ramgarhia is a humanitarian like no other; his name-sharing counterpart ( an eerie-similarity) on the other hand, Jassa Singh Alhuwalia meanwhile has been marginalized, maybe due to his historical adherence to the Nihung order? Lets flip a few pages back to 1748 A.D. and we see Ramgarhia besieging the fortress of Ram-Runi under the command of Adina Beg Khan. (13) The besieged are composed of two-hundred Sikhs sitting among their deceased, and now rotting, two-hundred companions. Frustrated, they finally lambaste Ramgarhia and threaten to expel him from their socio-cultural, and religious, ranks if his defiance against them continues. Ramgarhia is chastened and immediately capitulates. His actions buy temporary peace for the Sikhs who in this uneasy ceasefire prepare for a mass offensive against the Mughals. A new hero has arisen. No more is Ramgarhia the bane of the Sikhs. He has now become a pivotal leader in their affairs. But Ramgarhia's rise to power, and his realpolitik, earn him many foes in the succeeding years. The most ardent, and overbearing, among the latter is Akali-Nihung Jassa Singh Alhuwalia, 4th Commander-In-Chief of the Budha-Dal and paramount custodian of the Akal-Takhat. Both men are trailblazers but internecine friction ensures mass hostility on both sides with the result that Ramgarhia is forced to go into exile for over 12 years. (14) The latter is but a short sketch of a pivotal, and often icy, political relationship which foreboded the internal decay and fall of the Khalsa Misls. Both Alhuwalia and Ramgarhia were valued generals of their era, yet the fact that both often communicated with each other via their swords begs the question, why? Let us attempt to slay this multi-headed hydra via a point-by-point basis. 1.) What in the blazes was Ramgarhia doing in cohort with the Mughals? Sikh-Mughal relations, in the seventeenth century, were not a close-cut matter of 'kill, kill, kill!' Complexities, and anomalies, existed and Ramgarhia was only one of many of the latter. The need to create a territorial, and political, state brought the fledgling Sikhs in direct confrontation with the already hostile, and religiously incensed, Mughals. Ramgarhia's father was a pivotal player in the early Sikh sovereignty campaign headed by Banda Singh. Several theories exist over as to why he deserted his brethren, although recent research defiantly refutes this notion and instead indicates expulsion. It seems that Ramgarhia senior committed infanticide and was subsequently revoked of his privileges and ousted by the Khalsa. (15) Incensed- for him events were not as black and white as they were for his judges- Ramgarhia senior offered his services to the Mughal governor at Lahore and was subsequently accepted as a Captain in the latter's forces. Ramgarhia junior would soon inherit this position along with his three brothers. 2.) But weren't the Mughals thirsty for Sikh blood during this era? Ramgarhia's capitulation, at Ram-Runi, indicates two things. One, he was contemplating striking it alone and two, it seems pressure was increasing on him day by day to preserve his integrity in the eyes of suspicious Imperialists. How did Ramgarhia survive and gain employ in such an ambivalent era? Let us cast a glance at the contemporary Mughal empire, our subject's long-time employer. It's administration had become decentralized in the absence of any effective leadership, and all outposts outside Delhi had announced a subtle autonomy. Adina Beg Khan, and other governor-generals, were not only tasked with subduing the Sikhs but also confronting hostile third parties such as the raiding Afghanis, marauding Persians and occasional Mujhaideen incensed by the state's support of one Islamic sect. (16) Men like Khan, in order to preserve their own skins and defy their masters, formed coalitions with various Sikh chiefs and often enrolled them in their own ranks, thus Ramgarhia's survival. 3.) Wasn't internal forgiveness and pardon a part of the then Sikh structure? It was, but the demands for an autonomous empire were ever-growing and transgressions were hard to sweep under the carpet. Ramgarhia, despite being situated in the middle of the Sikh influence, was often at odds with colleagues such as Baghel Singh KaroraSinghia and any other critics. His brothers' impunity however often embroiled him in trouble and this point soon became a beating stick to assault his credibility. Matters finally came to a head when he attempted to gloss over his brothers' unprovoked offensive against Alhuwalia and the latter's entourage. The succeeding year, he was expelled from Punjab and a mass portion of his territory taken over by the Kanihyaas. Chief, Warrior, Politician, Ruler and forever Accused. Ala Singh of Patiala and his defence- Reviled as a traitor to the Sikh cause, was Ala Singh of Patiala truly the inimical tactician he is being made out to be currently? Or were there more poignant powers at work which made him adopt a divergent course from that of his fellows? Whilst the Sikh Misls were fighting for their survival in the 1730's, Ala Singh (with occasional assistance from the Shahida Misl) (17), was laying the foundation for the future state of Patiala. The son of a petty landlord, under Mughal rule, he had arisen to Goliathian prominence and even been recognized as a regal persona by both his brethren and their inimical foe, Ahmad Shah Abdali. 1.) Was Ala Singh not subject to the stringent measures self-imposed by the Sikhs upon themselves? Ala Singh resided in the Malwa and had emerged as the latter's pontificate cultivator. Various political incentives, and marriages, often buttressed his leadership ambitions and offered him an insurance not available to his fellows. The fact he was related to imminent men such as Bhai Ram Dayal, befriended by me such as Bhai Gurbaksh Singh, and enjoyed the support of pedagogues such as Baba Mool Chand also worked well in his favor. (18) 2.) What was Ala Singh's defense? Even though Ala Singh's ability to call upon his kin, and brethren, played a pivotal role in his rise to power; realpolitik also played a decisive factor. Malwa was more prone to repeated Afghani incursions than it's neighboring Majha. This not only placed Patiala right in the grasp of the foe, but also placed ardent stress upon it's logistics; Ala Singh's defense often orbited these points. His ironic situation juxtaposed with his ardent support of his brethren (though subtle) and grasp ofrealpolitik was enough for most Sikh chiefs to forgive him. 3.) So how did perceptions change? Maharajah Ranjit Singh's interference in Patiala's affairs-in the early nineteenth century- ultimately lead to the Cis-Sutlej treaty which guaranteed the state extensive support from the neighboring British protectorate. Authors, and historians, such as Ratan Singh Bhangu took this as a cue to cast Ala Singh in a dis-favorable light. Sources: (1) Accessed from: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/97949-history-is-written-by-the-victors (2) Doniger, W; (2009) The Hindus: An Alternative History, Oxford University Press, NY, USA; pg. 213-216. (3) ibid, pg. 225. (4) ibid, pg. 222. (5) ibid, pg. 216. (6) Sadasvia, S; (2000) A Social History of India, S.B. Nangia A.P.H Publishing Corporation, New-Delhi, India; pg. 165. (7) Accessed from http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Criticism_of_Banda_Singh_Bahadur (8) See The Anachronistic Sovereign 1, Tisarpanth Blogspot for a full exegesis from the Sri Gur Panth Prakash. (9) ibid, from Bhangu. (10) ibid, from Bhangu. (11) ibid, from Bhangu. It is important to note that Bhangu is extensively critical of Banda whilst praiseworthy of Binod Singh. (12) Rise of the Khalsa, animated film directed by Prabhjot Singh Makkar; produced by Vismaad. (13) Dhavan, P; (2011) When Sparrows Became Hawks. The Making of the Sikh Warrior Tradition. 1699-1799. Oxford University Press, New-York, America, pg. 74. (14) Singh Kazan; (1920) History of the Sikhs, New Delhi Press, India, see section titled Sikh-Misls. (15) Dhavan, P; (2011) When Sparrows Became Hawks. The Making of the Sikh Warrior Tradition. 1699-1799. Oxford University Press, New-York, America, pg. 82. (16) See Gandhi's Sikhs in the Eighteenth Century. (17) Reiterated from: http://tisarpanth.blogspot.co.nz/2014/04/a-short-sketch-of-khalsa-confederacies.html (18) Dhavan, P; (2011) When Sparrows Became Hawks. The Making of the Sikh Warrior Tradition. 1699-1799. Oxford University Press, New-York, America, pg.107.
  10. I recently researched some facets of Sikh history and here is what I have concluded. Please feel free to comment and criticize me. For the full article please see: http://tisarpanth.blogspot.co.nz/2014/09/dichotomy-and-de-evolution.html?view=magazine. I have also listed my sources, if in doubt please feel free to pursue them and get back to me. 'History is written by the Victors.' -Sir Winston Churchill. (1) History is never static but perpetually subject to fluctuation. Maybe then, what we call the past is nothing more than an adjective to catalog the notion of the commencement of an ideal or perception subject to later rereading. If the latter is taken to be true, then an imperative exists for a necessary re-defining of history (and it's trailblazers) every so often. Where would this leave us? An individual who was ratified as a hero five decades ago, may now become a genocidal villain (we have already witnessed this in the life of Prophet Muhammad) whereas a genocidal villain, of yesteryear, may soon be vindicated as a modern hero. Then again maybe there are some characters who will always inspire dichotomy. It might serve us well to study both Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan, if not for a crash course in human rights violation ('the how to do it and escape') than for their military and political stratagems. Below is an abstract of pivotal figures in Sikh history who have undergone a similar evolution for political, and ethno-social means. Their past has been circumspect to fluctuation and here we attempt to dissect the truth and if possible elucidate why some were forgotten in light of others who historically triumphed. Rama and Ravana- Rama and Ravana are not exclusive to Sikh historicity, nor do Sikhs subscribe to their pantheons or religious observances. They however reflect the primeval Good Versus Evil (or more bluntly us and them) psyche over which many cultures/religious parcels construct their own foundations-Sikhs alike. The Ramayana, despite it's prevalence, cannot be accepted as being an authentic account in light of it's fantastic claims. Written in the immediate aftermath of the fall of the sub-continent's first great empire (2), the ode of Rama and Ravana can easily be interpreted as being an attempt to accept political loss, and the ascension of a new empire and a new way of life. Preliminary texts of theRamayana (the tale of Rama) often construes Rama to be lustful ('the son of Dasratha is indeed lustful' (3) ) forgetful of his own divinity ('the Gods reminded him...' (4)) and often imperfect in conduct. Ravana's only failing is his hubris. If perceived, in light of history and historicity, Rama can be delineated as being an amalgamation of the various conflicting powers attempting to succeed the fragmented Mauryan's. (5) Ravana then is a Mauryan; an embodiment of the past empire and it's failures. The latter perception pans out especially since it is believed that the Ramayan's birth spanned from 750 BCE-200 CE. It's contents are replete with the motif of Kshatiryas (warriors in exile) thus reflecting an internecine conflict of sorts between Kshatiryas and the higher Brahmins. Was Ravana truly the rapist which the Ramayana inaugurates him to be? Or was he a monarch beset on all sides by fragmentation and factionalism who ultimately confronted hopes of a foreign progress via his farsightedness? History is silent on this matter, yet several Indian communities still venerate him as a noble emperor. (6) This dichotomy indicates that maybe the truth is more subtle. Ravana, or his real life counterpart, might as well have been an indigenous ruler confronted by Vedic (borrowed from the Ramayana) hordes which threatened to engulf his empire. Whatever the religiosity orbiting Ramayana it should serve as a lesson for ruler, scholar and layman alike. It is not the tale of Rama as commonly promulgated, but the tragedy of Ravana and through him revolution and utopia. Orwellian in approach, theRamayana confronts a post-revolution empire attempting to construct an utopia but teetering on the brink of collapse itself. Ultimately with the demise of it's monarch, history is re-written and the latter banished to infamy. From fame to infamy and back. The curious case of Banda Singh Bahadur and Binod Singh- Sir John Malcolm in his Sketch of the Sikhs observes: 'though the Sikhs, from being animated by a similar feeling, and encouraged by his first successes, followed Banda to the field, they do not revere his memory; and he is termed, by some of their authors, a heretic ; who, intoxicated with victory, endeavoured to change the religious institutions and laws of Guru G6vind, many of whose most devoted followers this fierce chief put to death...' (7) Banda Singh Bahadur is often officiated as being the primary Sikh ruler. To him we will apply the template which we birthed in our previous discussion regarding the Ramayana. Important points to acknowledge are: *The genesis of a mythos. * The marginalizing of any opposing history or historic figure. *The politics behind such actions. In 1708 A.D. Guru Gobind Singh Ji dispatched both a newly converted Banda, and the chief custodian of the Akal-Takhat, Akali-Nihung Binod Singh to subdue the Mughals in Punjab, wreck mass havoc and if plausible establish territorial supremacy for the Khalsa. Up till the Khalsa's sudden surrender of the Punjab (8), relations between Banda and Binod Singh were icily cordial if not fully warm. It was in the aftermath of Banda's declaration of a pseudo-Guruship that the real conflict commenced. (9) Incensed by certain 'reforms' propagated by the now vain Banda, Binod Singh and a mass body of the Khalsa parted from him under the aegis of Mata Sundar Kaur Ji and commenced harassing Mughal and 'Bandai' (Banda's own apostles) alike. (10) Curiously however by the dawn of the Sikh Empire, under Ranjit Singh, Banda's image had undergone a mass variation. No more was he a traitor, but an embodiment of Khalsa sovereignty and the latter's prolonged bloody history. Binod Singh meanwhile was marginalized as being nothing more than a minor inconvenience. (11) The latter situation is an obfuscating one, especially in light of the fact that a Nihung under Ranjit Singh-Ratan Singh Bhangu, author of the Sri Gur Panth Prakash- ardently criticizes Banda in his biography of the Khalsa nation. Ironically in lieu of any substantial academic vindication on the propagation of a 'Banda like no other' myth, during this era, we can somewhat amateurishly conclude then that this rebirth of Banda was probably politically oriented. Banda Singh's figure however prophetically boomed during the post-Singh-Sabha colonial era. The ascension of a radical Hindu movement, oriented towards establishing sole Hindu supremacy sub-continent wide, lead to a parallel Sikh offshoot which attempted to battle it and pursue ethnonationalism simultaneously. Banda became the bone of contention between both parties. Several prominent Hindu scholars attempted to cast him as a Hindu assisting his 'weakened Sikh brothers;' whereas Sikh academicians fought back with historic proof establishing Banda to be autonomous of Hinduism. Criticism of Banda during this time was heavily ignored and even vilified by a 'colonialised' Sikh academia which desired to circumvent his imperfectness altogether. The result? The image of a perfect 'Banda like no other' became ossified in Sikh thought and any criticism was (and is) 'academically refuted' or dismissed as being nothing more than a 'political, social or even religious conspiracy.' (12) Let us now summarize all of the above via the criterion which we mentioned in this sub-section's beginning. *The genesis of the mythos: 'A Banda like no other,' commenced under Ranjit Singh and was later ossified by colonial and post-colonial Sikh and non-Sikh scholars. *The marginalizing of any opposing history or historic figure: Even today Binod Singh is asserted to have betrayed Banda Singh in pursuit of parochial goals. Other then in Nihung Dals, no mention is made of him and many authors have discarded him altogether from their works. Historians such as Dr. Ganda Singh, despite acknowledging the fluidity of their field, continually (and often myopically) asserted any criticism of Banda to be a produce of an overbearing and radical mentality. Binod Singh meanwhile was vilified as the real traitor who betrayed the 'Sikh cause.' *The politics behind such actions: Ethnonationalism, and maybe a discomfort at the first Sikh sovereign's temporary transgressions. Rereading Jassa Singhs' Alhuwalia and Ramgarhia. Realpolitik versus theocracy- Modern-era, and Jassa Singh Ramgarhia is a humanitarian like no other; his name-sharing counterpart ( an eerie-similarity) on the other hand, Jassa Singh Alhuwalia meanwhile has been marginalized, maybe due to his historical adherence to the Nihung order? Lets flip a few pages back to 1748 A.D. and we see Ramgarhia besieging the fortress of Ram-Runi under the command of Adina Beg Khan. (13) The besieged are composed of two-hundred Sikhs sitting among their deceased, and now rotting, two-hundred companions. Frustrated, they finally lambaste Ramgarhia and threaten to expel him from their socio-cultural, and religious, ranks if his defiance against them continues. Ramgarhia is chastened and immediately capitulates. His actions buy temporary peace for the Sikhs who in this uneasy ceasefire prepare for a mass offensive against the Mughals. A new hero has arisen. No more is Ramgarhia the bane of the Sikhs. He has now become a pivotal leader in their affairs. But Ramgarhia's rise to power, and his realpolitik, earn him many foes in the succeeding years. The most ardent, and overbearing, among the latter is Akali-Nihung Jassa Singh Alhuwalia, 4th Commander-In-Chief of the Budha-Dal and paramount custodian of the Akal-Takhat. Both men are trailblazers but internecine friction ensures mass hostility on both sides with the result that Ramgarhia is forced to go into exile for over 12 years. (14) The latter is but a short sketch of a pivotal, and often icy, political relationship which foreboded the internal decay and fall of the Khalsa Misls. Both Alhuwalia and Ramgarhia were valued generals of their era, yet the fact that both often communicated with each other via their swords begs the question, why? Let us attempt to slay this multi-headed hydra via a point-by-point basis. 1.) What in the blazes was Ramgarhia doing in cohort with the Mughals? Sikh-Mughal relations, in the seventeenth century, were not a close-cut matter of 'kill, kill, kill!' Complexities, and anomalies, existed and Ramgarhia was only one of many of the latter. The need to create a territorial, and political, state brought the fledgling Sikhs in direct confrontation with the already hostile, and religiously incensed, Mughals. Ramgarhia's father was a pivotal player in the early Sikh sovereignty campaign headed by Banda Singh. Several theories exist over as to why he deserted his brethren, although recent research defiantly refutes this notion and instead indicates expulsion. It seems that Ramgarhia senior committed infanticide and was subsequently revoked of his privileges and ousted by the Khalsa. (15) Incensed- for him events were not as black and white as they were for his judges- Ramgarhia senior offered his services to the Mughal governor at Lahore and was subsequently accepted as a Captain in the latter's forces. Ramgarhia junior would soon inherit this position along with his three brothers. 2.) But weren't the Mughals thirsty for Sikh blood during this era? Ramgarhia's capitulation, at Ram-Runi, indicates two things. One, he was contemplating striking it alone and two, it seems pressure was increasing on him day by day to preserve his integrity in the eyes of suspicious Imperialists. How did Ramgarhia survive and gain employ in such an ambivalent era? Let us cast a glance at the contemporary Mughal empire, our subject's long-time employer. It's administration had become decentralized in the absence of any effective leadership, and all outposts outside Delhi had announced a subtle autonomy. Adina Beg Khan, and other governor-generals, were not only tasked with subduing the Sikhs but also confronting hostile third parties such as the raiding Afghanis, marauding Persians and occasional Mujhaideen incensed by the state's support of one Islamic sect. (16) Men like Khan, in order to preserve their own skins and defy their masters, formed coalitions with various Sikh chiefs and often enrolled them in their own ranks, thus Ramgarhia's survival. 3.) Wasn't internal forgiveness and pardon a part of the then Sikh structure? It was, but the demands for an autonomous empire were ever-growing and transgressions were hard to sweep under the carpet. Ramgarhia, despite being situated in the middle of the Sikh influence, was often at odds with colleagues such as Baghel Singh KaroraSinghia and any other critics. His brothers' impunity however often embroiled him in trouble and this point soon became a beating stick to assault his credibility. Matters finally came to a head when he attempted to gloss over his brothers' unprovoked offensive against Alhuwalia and the latter's entourage. The succeeding year, he was expelled from Punjab and a mass portion of his territory taken over by the Kanihyaas. Chief, Warrior, Politician, Ruler and forever Accused. Ala Singh of Patiala and his defence- Reviled as a traitor to the Sikh cause, was Ala Singh of Patiala truly the inimical tactician he is being made out to be currently? Or were there more poignant powers at work which made him adopt a divergent course from that of his fellows? Whilst the Sikh Misls were fighting for their survival in the 1730's, Ala Singh (with occasional assistance from the Shahida Misl) (17), was laying the foundation for the future state of Patiala. The son of a petty landlord, under Mughal rule, he had arisen to Goliathian prominence and even been recognized as a regal persona by both his brethren and their inimical foe, Ahmad Shah Abdali. 1.) Was Ala Singh not subject to the stringent measures self-imposed by the Sikhs upon themselves? Ala Singh resided in the Malwa and had emerged as the latter's pontificate cultivator. Various political incentives, and marriages, often buttressed his leadership ambitions and offered him an insurance not available to his fellows. The fact he was related to imminent men such as Bhai Ram Dayal, befriended by me such as Bhai Gurbaksh Singh, and enjoyed the support of pedagogues such as Baba Mool Chand also worked well in his favor. (18) 2.) What was Ala Singh's defense? Even though Ala Singh's ability to call upon his kin, and brethren, played a pivotal role in his rise to power; realpolitik also played a decisive factor. Malwa was more prone to repeated Afghani incursions than it's neighboring Majha. This not only placed Patiala right in the grasp of the foe, but also placed ardent stress upon it's logistics; Ala Singh's defense often orbited these points. His ironic situation juxtaposed with his ardent support of his brethren (though subtle) and grasp ofrealpolitik was enough for most Sikh chiefs to forgive him. 3.) So how did perceptions change? Maharajah Ranjit Singh's interference in Patiala's affairs-in the early nineteenth century- ultimately lead to the Cis-Sutlej treaty which guaranteed the state extensive support from the neighboring British protectorate. Authors, and historians, such as Ratan Singh Bhangu took this as a cue to cast Ala Singh in a dis-favorable light. Sources: (1) Accessed from: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/97949-history-is-written-by-the-victors (2) Doniger, W; (2009) The Hindus: An Alternative History, Oxford University Press, NY, USA; pg. 213-216. (3) ibid, pg. 225. (4) ibid, pg. 222. (5) ibid, pg. 216. (6) Sadasvia, S; (2000) A Social History of India, S.B. Nangia A.P.H Publishing Corporation, New-Delhi, India; pg. 165. (7) Accessed from http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Criticism_of_Banda_Singh_Bahadur (8) See The Anachronistic Sovereign 1, Tisarpanth Blogspot for a full exegesis from the Sri Gur Panth Prakash. (9) ibid, from Bhangu. (10) ibid, from Bhangu. (11) ibid, from Bhangu. It is important to note that Bhangu is extensively critical of Banda whilst praiseworthy of Binod Singh. (12) Rise of the Khalsa, animated film directed by Prabhjot Singh Makkar; produced by Vismaad. (13) Dhavan, P; (2011) When Sparrows Became Hawks. The Making of the Sikh Warrior Tradition. 1699-1799. Oxford University Press, New-York, America, pg. 74. (14) Singh Kazan; (1920) History of the Sikhs, New Delhi Press, India, see section titled Sikh-Misls. (15) Dhavan, P; (2011) When Sparrows Became Hawks. The Making of the Sikh Warrior Tradition. 1699-1799. Oxford University Press, New-York, America, pg. 82. (16) See Gandhi's Sikhs in the Eighteenth Century. (17) Reiterated from: http://tisarpanth.blogspot.co.nz/2014/04/a-short-sketch-of-khalsa-confederacies.html (18) Dhavan, P; (2011) When Sparrows Became Hawks. The Making of the Sikh Warrior Tradition. 1699-1799. Oxford University Press, New-York, America, pg.107.
  11. I recently researched some facets of Sikh history and here is what I have concluded. Please feel free to comment and criticize me. For the full article please see: http://tisarpanth.blogspot.co.nz/2014/09/dichotomy-and-de-evolution.html?view=magazine. I have also listed my sources, if in doubt please feel free to pursue them and get back to me. 'History is written by the Victors.' -Sir Winston Churchill. (1) History is never static but perpetually subject to fluctuation. Maybe then, what we call the past is nothing more than an adjective to catalog the notion of the commencement of an ideal or perception subject to later rereading. If the latter is taken to be true, then an imperative exists for a necessary re-defining of history (and it's trailblazers) every so often. Where would this leave us? An individual who was ratified as a hero five decades ago, may now become a genocidal villain (we have already witnessed this in the life of Prophet Muhammad) whereas a genocidal villain, of yesteryear, may soon be vindicated as a modern hero. Then again maybe there are some characters who will always inspire dichotomy. It might serve us well to study both Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan, if not for a crash course in human rights violation ('the how to do it and escape') than for their military and political stratagems. Below is an abstract of pivotal figures in Sikh history who have undergone a similar evolution for political, and ethno-social means. Their past has been circumspect to fluctuation and here we attempt to dissect the truth and if possible elucidate why some were forgotten in light of others who historically triumphed. Rama and Ravana- Rama and Ravana are not exclusive to Sikh historicity, nor do Sikhs subscribe to their pantheons or religious observances. They however reflect the primeval Good Versus Evil (or more bluntly us and them) psyche over which many cultures/religious parcels construct their own foundations-Sikhs alike. The Ramayana, despite it's prevalence, cannot be accepted as being an authentic account in light of it's fantastic claims. Written in the immediate aftermath of the fall of the sub-continent's first great empire (2), the ode of Rama and Ravana can easily be interpreted as being an attempt to accept political loss, and the ascension of a new empire and a new way of life. Preliminary texts of theRamayana (the tale of Rama) often construes Rama to be lustful ('the son of Dasratha is indeed lustful' (3) ) forgetful of his own divinity ('the Gods reminded him...' (4)) and often imperfect in conduct. Ravana's only failing is his hubris. If perceived, in light of history and historicity, Rama can be delineated as being an amalgamation of the various conflicting powers attempting to succeed the fragmented Mauryan's. (5) Ravana then is a Mauryan; an embodiment of the past empire and it's failures. The latter perception pans out especially since it is believed that the Ramayan's birth spanned from 750 BCE-200 CE. It's contents are replete with the motif of Kshatiryas (warriors in exile) thus reflecting an internecine conflict of sorts between Kshatiryas and the higher Brahmins. Was Ravana truly the rapist which the Ramayana inaugurates him to be? Or was he a monarch beset on all sides by fragmentation and factionalism who ultimately confronted hopes of a foreign progress via his farsightedness? History is silent on this matter, yet several Indian communities still venerate him as a noble emperor. (6) This dichotomy indicates that maybe the truth is more subtle. Ravana, or his real life counterpart, might as well have been an indigenous ruler confronted by Vedic (borrowed from the Ramayana) hordes which threatened to engulf his empire. Whatever the religiosity orbiting Ramayana it should serve as a lesson for ruler, scholar and layman alike. It is not the tale of Rama as commonly promulgated, but the tragedy of Ravana and through him revolution and utopia. Orwellian in approach, theRamayana confronts a post-revolution empire attempting to construct an utopia but teetering on the brink of collapse itself. Ultimately with the demise of it's monarch, history is re-written and the latter banished to infamy. From fame to infamy and back. The curious case of Banda Singh Bahadur and Binod Singh- Sir John Malcolm in his Sketch of the Sikhs observes: 'though the Sikhs, from being animated by a similar feeling, and encouraged by his first successes, followed Banda to the field, they do not revere his memory; and he is termed, by some of their authors, a heretic ; who, intoxicated with victory, endeavoured to change the religious institutions and laws of Guru G6vind, many of whose most devoted followers this fierce chief put to death...' (7) Banda Singh Bahadur is often officiated as being the primary Sikh ruler. To him we will apply the template which we birthed in our previous discussion regarding the Ramayana. Important points to acknowledge are: *The genesis of a mythos. * The marginalizing of any opposing history or historic figure. *The politics behind such actions. In 1708 A.D. Guru Gobind Singh Ji dispatched both a newly converted Banda, and the chief custodian of the Akal-Takhat, Akali-Nihung Binod Singh to subdue the Mughals in Punjab, wreck mass havoc and if plausible establish territorial supremacy for the Khalsa. Up till the Khalsa's sudden surrender of the Punjab (8), relations between Banda and Binod Singh were icily cordial if not fully warm. It was in the aftermath of Banda's declaration of a pseudo-Guruship that the real conflict commenced. (9) Incensed by certain 'reforms' propagated by the now vain Banda, Binod Singh and a mass body of the Khalsa parted from him under the aegis of Mata Sundar Kaur Ji and commenced harassing Mughal and 'Bandai' (Banda's own apostles) alike. (10) Curiously however by the dawn of the Sikh Empire, under Ranjit Singh, Banda's image had undergone a mass variation. No more was he a traitor, but an embodiment of Khalsa sovereignty and the latter's prolonged bloody history. Binod Singh meanwhile was marginalized as being nothing more than a minor inconvenience. (11) The latter situation is an obfuscating one, especially in light of the fact that a Nihung under Ranjit Singh-Ratan Singh Bhangu, author of the Sri Gur Panth Prakash- ardently criticizes Banda in his biography of the Khalsa nation. Ironically in lieu of any substantial academic vindication on the propagation of a 'Banda like no other' myth, during this era, we can somewhat amateurishly conclude then that this rebirth of Banda was probably politically oriented. Banda Singh's figure however prophetically boomed during the post-Singh-Sabha colonial era. The ascension of a radical Hindu movement, oriented towards establishing sole Hindu supremacy sub-continent wide, lead to a parallel Sikh offshoot which attempted to battle it and pursue ethnonationalism simultaneously. Banda became the bone of contention between both parties. Several prominent Hindu scholars attempted to cast him as a Hindu assisting his 'weakened Sikh brothers;' whereas Sikh academicians fought back with historic proof establishing Banda to be autonomous of Hinduism. Criticism of Banda during this time was heavily ignored and even vilified by a 'colonialised' Sikh academia which desired to circumvent his imperfectness altogether. The result? The image of a perfect 'Banda like no other' became ossified in Sikh thought and any criticism was (and is) 'academically refuted' or dismissed as being nothing more than a 'political, social or even religious conspiracy.' (12) Let us now summarize all of the above via the criterion which we mentioned in this sub-section's beginning. *The genesis of the mythos: 'A Banda like no other,' commenced under Ranjit Singh and was later ossified by colonial and post-colonial Sikh and non-Sikh scholars. *The marginalizing of any opposing history or historic figure: Even today Binod Singh is asserted to have betrayed Banda Singh in pursuit of parochial goals. Other then in Nihung Dals, no mention is made of him and many authors have discarded him altogether from their works. Historians such as Dr. Ganda Singh, despite acknowledging the fluidity of their field, continually (and often myopically) asserted any criticism of Banda to be a produce of an overbearing and radical mentality. Binod Singh meanwhile was vilified as the real traitor who betrayed the 'Sikh cause.' *The politics behind such actions: Ethnonationalism, and maybe a discomfort at the first Sikh sovereign's temporary transgressions. Rereading Jassa Singhs' Alhuwalia and Ramgarhia. Realpolitik versus theocracy- Modern-era, and Jassa Singh Ramgarhia is a humanitarian like no other; his name-sharing counterpart ( an eerie-similarity) on the other hand, Jassa Singh Alhuwalia meanwhile has been marginalized, maybe due to his historical adherence to the Nihung order? Lets flip a few pages back to 1748 A.D. and we see Ramgarhia besieging the fortress of Ram-Runi under the command of Adina Beg Khan. (13) The besieged are composed of two-hundred Sikhs sitting among their deceased, and now rotting, two-hundred companions. Frustrated, they finally lambaste Ramgarhia and threaten to expel him from their socio-cultural, and religious, ranks if his defiance against them continues. Ramgarhia is chastened and immediately capitulates. His actions buy temporary peace for the Sikhs who in this uneasy ceasefire prepare for a mass offensive against the Mughals. A new hero has arisen. No more is Ramgarhia the bane of the Sikhs. He has now become a pivotal leader in their affairs. But Ramgarhia's rise to power, and his realpolitik, earn him many foes in the succeeding years. The most ardent, and overbearing, among the latter is Akali-Nihung Jassa Singh Alhuwalia, 4th Commander-In-Chief of the Budha-Dal and paramount custodian of the Akal-Takhat. Both men are trailblazers but internecine friction ensures mass hostility on both sides with the result that Ramgarhia is forced to go into exile for over 12 years. (14) The latter is but a short sketch of a pivotal, and often icy, political relationship which foreboded the internal decay and fall of the Khalsa Misls. Both Alhuwalia and Ramgarhia were valued generals of their era, yet the fact that both often communicated with each other via their swords begs the question, why? Let us attempt to slay this multi-headed hydra via a point-by-point basis. 1.) What in the blazes was Ramgarhia doing in cohort with the Mughals? Sikh-Mughal relations, in the seventeenth century, were not a close-cut matter of 'kill, kill, kill!' Complexities, and anomalies, existed and Ramgarhia was only one of many of the latter. The need to create a territorial, and political, state brought the fledgling Sikhs in direct confrontation with the already hostile, and religiously incensed, Mughals. Ramgarhia's father was a pivotal player in the early Sikh sovereignty campaign headed by Banda Singh. Several theories exist over as to why he deserted his brethren, although recent research defiantly refutes this notion and instead indicates expulsion. It seems that Ramgarhia senior committed infanticide and was subsequently revoked of his privileges and ousted by the Khalsa. (15) Incensed- for him events were not as black and white as they were for his judges- Ramgarhia senior offered his services to the Mughal governor at Lahore and was subsequently accepted as a Captain in the latter's forces. Ramgarhia junior would soon inherit this position along with his three brothers. 2.) But weren't the Mughals thirsty for Sikh blood during this era? Ramgarhia's capitulation, at Ram-Runi, indicates two things. One, he was contemplating striking it alone and two, it seems pressure was increasing on him day by day to preserve his integrity in the eyes of suspicious Imperialists. How did Ramgarhia survive and gain employ in such an ambivalent era? Let us cast a glance at the contemporary Mughal empire, our subject's long-time employer. It's administration had become decentralized in the absence of any effective leadership, and all outposts outside Delhi had announced a subtle autonomy. Adina Beg Khan, and other governor-generals, were not only tasked with subduing the Sikhs but also confronting hostile third parties such as the raiding Afghanis, marauding Persians and occasional Mujhaideen incensed by the state's support of one Islamic sect. (16) Men like Khan, in order to preserve their own skins and defy their masters, formed coalitions with various Sikh chiefs and often enrolled them in their own ranks, thus Ramgarhia's survival. 3.) Wasn't internal forgiveness and pardon a part of the then Sikh structure? It was, but the demands for an autonomous empire were ever-growing and transgressions were hard to sweep under the carpet. Ramgarhia, despite being situated in the middle of the Sikh influence, was often at odds with colleagues such as Baghel Singh KaroraSinghia and any other critics. His brothers' impunity however often embroiled him in trouble and this point soon became a beating stick to assault his credibility. Matters finally came to a head when he attempted to gloss over his brothers' unprovoked offensive against Alhuwalia and the latter's entourage. The succeeding year, he was expelled from Punjab and a mass portion of his territory taken over by the Kanihyaas. Chief, Warrior, Politician, Ruler and forever Accused. Ala Singh of Patiala and his defence- Reviled as a traitor to the Sikh cause, was Ala Singh of Patiala truly the inimical tactician he is being made out to be currently? Or were there more poignant powers at work which made him adopt a divergent course from that of his fellows? Whilst the Sikh Misls were fighting for their survival in the 1730's, Ala Singh (with occasional assistance from the Shahida Misl) (17), was laying the foundation for the future state of Patiala. The son of a petty landlord, under Mughal rule, he had arisen to Goliathian prominence and even been recognized as a regal persona by both his brethren and their inimical foe, Ahmad Shah Abdali. 1.) Was Ala Singh not subject to the stringent measures self-imposed by the Sikhs upon themselves? Ala Singh resided in the Malwa and had emerged as the latter's pontificate cultivator. Various political incentives, and marriages, often buttressed his leadership ambitions and offered him an insurance not available to his fellows. The fact he was related to imminent men such as Bhai Ram Dayal, befriended by me such as Bhai Gurbaksh Singh, and enjoyed the support of pedagogues such as Baba Mool Chand also worked well in his favor. (18) 2.) What was Ala Singh's defense? Even though Ala Singh's ability to call upon his kin, and brethren, played a pivotal role in his rise to power; realpolitik also played a decisive factor. Malwa was more prone to repeated Afghani incursions than it's neighboring Majha. This not only placed Patiala right in the grasp of the foe, but also placed ardent stress upon it's logistics; Ala Singh's defense often orbited these points. His ironic situation juxtaposed with his ardent support of his brethren (though subtle) and grasp ofrealpolitik was enough for most Sikh chiefs to forgive him. 3.) So how did perceptions change? Maharajah Ranjit Singh's interference in Patiala's affairs-in the early nineteenth century- ultimately lead to the Cis-Sutlej treaty which guaranteed the state extensive support from the neighboring British protectorate. Authors, and historians, such as Ratan Singh Bhangu took this as a cue to cast Ala Singh in a dis-favorable light. Sources: (1) Accessed from: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/97949-history-is-written-by-the-victors (2) Doniger, W; (2009) The Hindus: An Alternative History, Oxford University Press, NY, USA; pg. 213-216. (3) ibid, pg. 225. (4) ibid, pg. 222. (5) ibid, pg. 216. (6) Sadasvia, S; (2000) A Social History of India, S.B. Nangia A.P.H Publishing Corporation, New-Delhi, India; pg. 165. (7) Accessed from http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Criticism_of_Banda_Singh_Bahadur (8) See The Anachronistic Sovereign 1, Tisarpanth Blogspot for a full exegesis from the Sri Gur Panth Prakash. (9) ibid, from Bhangu. (10) ibid, from Bhangu. (11) ibid, from Bhangu. It is important to note that Bhangu is extensively critical of Banda whilst praiseworthy of Binod Singh. (12) Rise of the Khalsa, animated film directed by Prabhjot Singh Makkar; produced by Vismaad. (13) Dhavan, P; (2011) When Sparrows Became Hawks. The Making of the Sikh Warrior Tradition. 1699-1799. Oxford University Press, New-York, America, pg. 74. (14) Singh Kazan; (1920) History of the Sikhs, New Delhi Press, India, see section titled Sikh-Misls. (15) Dhavan, P; (2011) When Sparrows Became Hawks. The Making of the Sikh Warrior Tradition. 1699-1799. Oxford University Press, New-York, America, pg. 82. (16) See Gandhi's Sikhs in the Eighteenth Century. (17) Reiterated from: http://tisarpanth.blogspot.co.nz/2014/04/a-short-sketch-of-khalsa-confederacies.html (18) Dhavan, P; (2011) When Sparrows Became Hawks. The Making of the Sikh Warrior Tradition. 1699-1799. Oxford University Press, New-York, America, pg.107.
  12. waheguru ji ka khalsa waheguru ji ki fateh i was wondering if anyone can recommend me books on sikh history that are non bias and accurate. im particularly looking for books starting from banda singh bahadur and up until khalistan movement. Also the books must be in english too i just need names i plan on purchasing the books.
  13. http://www.mullocksauctions.co.uk/lot-661676-india_%E2%80%93_ranjit_singh&nbsp1805_%E2%80%93_rare_early_19th.html search for the rest One of the earliest accounts of Sikh warrior king Maharaja Ranjit Singh forms the centrepiece of an auction of rare historical documents in Britain next month. The account by Marquis of Wellesley, which dates back to 1805, is expected to fetch between 600 and 800 pounds when it goes under the hammer as part of a sale organised by Mullock's specialist auction house at Ludlow Racecourse in the West Midlands region on November 5. "This is one of earliest accounts of Ranjit Singh, he would have been at the tender age of 25, a young ambitious man who was set to rule a vast empire. He was clearly an obstacle to the British expanding their territory in India," said historical documents specialist Richard Westwood-Brookes. Among some of the other rare collections coming up for sale include a report of the meeting between Ranjit Singh and Lord William Bentick, Governor General of India, published in 1832. An early edition of the "History of the Sikhs" by Joseph Davy Cunningham, published in 1853 and considered the first extensive work on the Sikhs by a European, has a guide price of 1,000 to 1,500 pounds. "This sale is very unique as it sheds light on the Sikh empire and religion from the eyes of the British and European explorers of the 19th century," Westwood-Brookes explained. Other lots include a first-hand account of the Sikhs by John Malcolm from 1813, a Sikh Empire period Kashmir painted shelf with portraits of Ranjit Singh and Gulab Singh and a rare 19th century British cast model of the famous Sikh Bhangi Misl Cannon. A fine engraving of the Nihungs (1844) by British artist Emily Eden, a very early drawing of Ranjit Singh, a lavishly illustrated book on the Sikh court of Lahore by Russian traveller Soltykoff and the earliest European view of the Golden Temple dating back to 1836 are all expected to be among some of the sought after items at the upcoming Historical Documents and Ephemera auction.
  14. Hi everyone, I've made this website for learning some Sikh history trivia. The questions were created for use at the Sterling Heights Gurdwara (MI) Punjabi class. Here is the link: http://michigangurudwara.com/sikhhistoryquestions/ All the code is posted on Github here: https://github.com/gsingh93/sikhhistoryquestions So if you want to make your own clone of it with your own questions or you want to fix something in my version, go ahead and do it. Note that this will only work in modern browsers, and may not look good on mobile devices. Does the Tatkhalsa site still host open source projects from other developers? The site looks fairly different from before and there don't seem to be the same projects on it...
  15. Wahe Guru ji ka Khalsa Wahe Guru ji ki Fateh I have put up various sources of Sikh history on my site: www.gsmann.com It also includes many of my articles that i have written over the many years: including information from my MA in Sri Dasam Granth Sahib from 2001 and many articles that appeared in journals. Recently i have put up the following: 1) British and the Sikhs: the Akali Nihangs in 3 parts(more to come) 2) Rare document on the Treaty between the Lahore government and the British( Koh-i-noor and Duleep Singh) 3) A article on the history of Takht Patna Sahib from 2008. Forthcoming various rare material on Sikh and Punjab history including never seen before Sikh manuscripts and how the British broke down the Sikh Religion with missionaries. I will not be able to answer every question on the documents that i have posted due to time constraints but hopefully this information can help in understanding our religion better. Gurfateh Gurinder Singh Mann
  16. Ji this is my benti to all I recently came across this website which is spreading false information about Sikhi. I run a page on facebook on which I expose these types of myths perpetrated by the RSS and other Hindutva extremists. Can anyone please help me by refuting this person's arguments. I just want to know what actually happened in the incidents this person is talking about. After that I will put it up on y page. Your help will be greatly appreciated. This is the website I am talking about: http://skanda987.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/khalistani-classic-myths/
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